Thousands of Justice Department employees are paid by taxpayers to do substantial union work, the Washington Examiner reported.
This includes twenty-six judges who belong to the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ). These immigration spend many working hours at the Department of Justice being paid in tax dollars to take care of work for their union as opposed to their normal duties, according to official documents and data obtained by the Examiner.
These judges are just a small portion of the 4,000 Justice Department employees who were paid to do union work outside their normal duties as part of a program called “official time.”
This allows civil service employees to earn their normal compensation while working part-time or full-time for their unions. These employees may also be compensated with tax dollars for other union matters such as travel and office supplies.
This includes 200 DOJ employees over the past four years who spend 40 hours a week on union matters. Additionally, between 2009 and 2013, DOJ employees earned $23 million in wages for 760,000 hours of union work as part of official time.
Despite contract negotiations taking place every few years, DOJ employees still reported spending 100,000 hours in official time working on grievances and 650,000 hours on “labor-management relations.”
The Washington Examiner pointed to several areas where the program has spawned abuse including the DOJ paying 21 “sports specialists” and a sewing machine repair supervisor who makes $64,000.
The federal judges who belong to NAIJ make $165,000 a year while doing much of their work for their union. Now these judges want to their own independent courts outside the DOJ.
A spokesperson for Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) within the Justice Department told The Daily Caller News Foundation that this request would not be met: “The type of civil administrative adjudications that EOIR conducts are designed to be handled within the structure of the Department and it would take significant resources to create an agency separate from an executive branch cabinet officer.”
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